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Running with Dogs – what a great way to multitask!

Running with Dogs

Finally, we’re back to spring and ready to go running again. Interested in running with your dog? Here’s some of the highlights of a great Jack Rabbit class we went to on how to run with your dog:

Running With Dogs:

It was an evening with dog “runner” Jerry Sticker on how to run with your furry friend and get him to love the miles as much as you do!  We got some amazing tips on how to run with your dogs:

  • Don’t run with your dog if it goes over 85-90 degrees
  • Bring water on your run for your dog
  • Don’t use a retractable leash
  • Use a short leash (6 ft). It will help you to better control your dog. He’s less likely to zig zag on a shorter leash.
  • If your dog likes to stop/sniff/pee a lot when he’s outside, make sure to use the leash to guide his attention back to the run
  • If your dog gets distracted by birds, squirrels, etc. when he’s outside, make sure to use the leash to guide his attention back to the run
  • If your dog gets easily distracted, bring a favorite ball or toy with you on the run. Use it to regain his attention. At the end of the run let your dog play with the favorite ball or toy
  • If your dog is a beginner runner, make sure to start slowly and work up to longer distances overtime

nite-brite-reflective-dog-leash-blackJerry also recommended a leash that was round. It looked similar to the leash left, except this Nite Bright leash has the added benefit that it is also reflective which is great for safety.

One of our favorite, award winning, active dog products brands, EzyDog, also has a hands-free running leash for your dog.

road-runner-ezydogThe Road Runner is the ultimate hands free dog walking/running experience. The sliding side-release buckle allows you to alter the length of the leash or unclip to wear it around your waist, shoulder or hand.

The incorporated Zero Shock Technology is the advanced shock absorbing component in the center of the leash that cushions and eases the pressure for both the owner and the dog. It also incorporates reflective trim for night-time safety and the hands-free adjustments make it perfect for running with your dog.

Hurtta Ultimate Warmer Dog Jacket

Hurtta Ultimate Warmer

Hurtta Ultimate Warmer

Boy it’s freezing outside and we’re sure your dog thinks so too. Luckily, Hurtta has designed and recently released to the U.S. the Ultimate Warmer Dog Jacket. It’s turned into a best seller with many of their customers from Alaska to Maine declaring it as “the best all-weather protecting dog-coat on the market”.

The Ultimate Warmer Dog Jacket provides your dog extreme protection and thermal insulation for extended outdoor activities in cold conditions. The material has been laminated with a waterproof and breathable Houndtex® membrane to keep your dog dry and warm. The high collar, protective front and long rear hem protect your dog’s most important muscle groups, neck and chest. Made from smooth and soundless material, the jacket allows complete freedom of movement.

Hurtta_Outdoors_UltimateWarmerTo ensure a great fit, this highly technical outfit has an adjustable collar, neckline and waist and a protective rear hem. The back of the product has a leash opening for collar or harness attachment. Efficient 3M reflectors have been positioned on various parts of the jacket for increased visibility.

It is particularly well suited to training and active working dogs, when long-term exposure to the cold in winter cannot be avoided.

Want to learn more about Hurtta? Check out our interview with Hurtta to get an exclusive scoop on the brand.

Water Rehabilitation for Dogs

water 4 dogsHydrotherapy has been long used for humans suffering from arthritis pain and other disabilities. It’s only become more available for dogs in recent years. Water rehabilitation for dogs allows them to exercise in a fluid environment which gives them greater support to minimize stress on their joints, while at the same time creating enough resistance so that they can exercise their muscles. It’s considered a major breakthrough for dogs with spinal injuries, severe arthritis, hip or elbow dysplasia or other mobility problems.

water rehabilitation for dogsWhat makes hydrotherapy different is the buoyancy water provides. The feeling of weightlessness allows disabled dogs to use all their muscles without putting stress on damaged or weak muscles. But the water also creates resistance, which limits the rate at which the dog’s limbs can move through the water. It’s also a great cardiovascular workout for a dog’s heart and lungs, since the weight of the water means that breathing requires more effort. The water in hydrotherapy pools is typically warm (80 to 100 degrees F), which promotes blood flow to the injured area while simultaneously increasing muscle and joint flexibility.

Friends of DogsizWater 4 Dogsed and Downtown Dog NYC members, Geraldine, Conor and their dog Abe, had a great experience with hydrotherapy at Water4Dogs Rehabilitation Center in NYC. At the time, Abe (only a year and 9 months old) sadly had a partial tear in his back left leg (unfortunately a common injury for Abe’s breed). After hearing from an orthopedic surgeon that he needed very invasive surgery, they sought out some other opinions. They thought surgery was a bit drastic, especially since he was so young. Another vet recommended water therapy and rehab at Water4Dogs.

They came in for an initial evaluation/consultation with Dr. Block at Water4Dogs and decided to try out their rehabilitation in lieu of surgery. After ten sessions of cold laser treatment, physical therapy, water treadmill and pool therapy (ten sessions in all, twice a week). Abe made an amazing recovery.

So if your dog has an injury or mobility issues, you might want to consider water rehabilitation / hydrotherapy, before going to more invasive surgical solutions. It’s worked for humans for years – it makes sense that it could be a great option and potential solution for our canine best friends.

Check out these two videos of Abe at Water4Dogs:

Tips for a Dog Hike – Fun Outdoor Adventure

dog hike We’re sure your best friend would love to go on a dog hike. All dogs, even urban dogs, enjoy some fun in the sun and new adventures. Here are some great tips:

1. Check in advance to ensure the trail or park allows dogs

Not all trails or parks are dog friendly so definitely check in advance.

2. Make sure your dog can handle the exercise

Hiking is more strenuous than walking, especially since the terrain is uneven. Make sure your dog’s fitness matches the distance and level of hike you’re planning to take. Otherwise, you might end up carrying your dog half way through the hike.

small dog hikeSome factors you’ll want to consider is their age and overall health. Dogs that are in shape and over 40 lbs generally are well adapted for hiking. Smaller dogs can be good hikers too, but they do need to take a lot more steps to cover the same piece of ground, and they cannot stretch as far up or down a rock, so they may need a lift where a larger dog would not. If you’re not sure, start with an easy, flat hike that’s not too long.

3. Bring the right gear for your pooch
  • Some trails require your dog to be on leash at all times and some even require your dog to wear a muzzle, so make sure to check in advance.
  • Hopefully your dog is already using tick protection such as Advantix II, but you might want to also bring mosquito spray made for dogs and tweezers for tick removal.
Summit Backpack

Summit Backpack

  • If you have a strong, fit dog and you want him to share the load and get him to wear a dog backpack.
  • If the hike you’re considering does not have much shade and you have a dog that could easily sunburn, bring some sunscreen made for dogs.
  • Remember to bring water not just for yourself, but also for your dog. Check out our recommended travel water bottles / bowls.
  • We believe it’s also good to bring some treats for your dog. It’s a great way to get their attention and they might need some nourishment if it’s a strenuous hike – just as you would bring trail mix for yourself.
4. Follow Dog Hike Etiquette
  • Clean up after your dog just as you would after yourself, using the Leave No Trace principles.
  • Give dog-less hikers the right of way. When you meet others on the trail, put your dog on a leash.
  • Do not allow your dog to disturb plants or wildlife.
  • Keep your dog on the trail.